Whether or not you need a cholesterol-lowering statin medication depends on the type of food you eat. High cholesterol is a choice you make at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In most cases, you can markedly lower your cholesterol by changing what you eat.
In your body, cholesterol is an important component of cell membranes, bile, and hormones. Remember, your body already makes all the cholesterol it needs. Animal products (meat, poultry, pork, fish, eggs, and dairy) raise your cholesterol level above normal. Too much cholesterol causes inflammation in the endothelium, the lining of your blood vessels, causing plaque formation and clogging of your arteries.
How Plant-Based Food Lowers Cholesterol
A whole food, plant-based diet reduces your cholesterol level, dilates blood vessels, and improves blood flow. When you adopt this type of nutrition, you reduce the inflammation in your system, allowing your arteries and tissues to heal. A whole food, plant-based diet accomplishes all of this without harmful side effects.
How Statin Medications Work
Cholesterol lowering medications work by blocking the enzyme your liver uses to produce cholesterol. Although statins give you good numbers, they do nothing to reverse the underlying disease!
Statins Carry Risks
Their side effects include the following:
High blood sugar
Additionally, some patients develop a false sense of security and believe that the medication gives them protection and a license to indulge in unhealthy foods.
Who Truly Needs A Statin Drug?
Certainly, if you have a very high risk for heart attack or stroke, a statin drug should be prescribed. However, otherwise healthy people with elevated cholesterol should start by making diet and lifestyle changes.
A whole food, plant-based diet, significantly lowers your cholesterol without all the harmful side effects. These foods also reduce inflammation throughout your body allowing it to heal. As you adopt this type of eating, you lower your risk of heart attack, stroke, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, erectile dysfunction, and autoimmune diseases.
Statin drugs are not the answer for everyone with high cholesterol. A whole food, plant-based diet is a powerful, effective, risk-free approach, which not only results in great numbers, but also reverses the underlying disease.
Esselstyn CB, Resolving the Coronary Artery Disease Epidemic Through Plant-Based Nutrition. Prev Cardiol 2001 Autumn; 4 (4): 171-177.
Who Should Take Cholesterol-lowering Statins? Everyone or No One? https://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2013nl/may/who.htm. Accessed January 19, 2016.
2013 ACC/AHA Blood Cholesterol Guideline. https://www.lipid.org/sites/default/files/BloodCholesterolReduceAtheroscleroticCardiovascularRisk.pdf
Carla Hightower, MD, MBA is a physician, health coach, workplace wellness consultant, and speaker. She helps people heal themselves with food. Through wellness workshops and courses, she helps companies create healthy, energetic teams.
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